Avalanche Advisory

Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory
Saturday, April 19th 2014 6:32 am by John Fitzgerald
ARCHIVED ADVISORY - All advisories expire after 24 hours from the posting date/time.
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The Bottom Line

The avalanche danger is LOW above and below treeline.  Very low volume wet loose avalanches and cornices are the snowpack issues to be aware of today.

 Show the Complete North American Avalanche Danger Scale
1 Low Alpine / Above 2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Treeline / 1,000'-2,500' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
1 Low Below Treeline / Below 1,000' Travel Advice: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Special Announcement

Turnagain Pass and Snug harbor are the only remaining areas on the Chugach National Forest open to motorized use.  Check the bottom of the page for the latest updates on motorized access.


Advisories will be issued 5 days per week - Wednesday to Sunday - through April 27th.

Avalanche Problem 1

Dissipating cloud cover and cooler overnight temps have allowed the snow surface to once again refreeze.  The snowpack has now been through many periods of melt/freeze.  This equates to generally stable snow in most areas.  The exceptions to this are the following:

Wet Loose Avalanches
It will be possible for humans to trigger very low volume wet sluffs in very steep terrain today.  Slopes over 40 degrees either in the lower elevations or on sunlit aspects in the higher elevations are the main areas where this is a possibility.  The volume of any potential sluffs will be low and slow moving.  

We have yet to see any significant cornice falls in the area.  Despite this, it is still worth being aware of and staying away from them.  Know where your are in relation to cornices and always hedge your bets by giving them a wide berth.  Warm temperatures and sunshine will help to destabilize cornices today.

With temperatures expected to reach into the high 40s/low 50s F at 1,000', it will be important to anticipate the snow surface becoming unsupportable in the lower elevations later in the day.  Planning your route back to the road with this in mind will minimize the potential of injury due to difficult travel.

Mountain Weather

In the past 24 hours a trace of new snow has fallen above 2,000’, with light rain (.1") below 2,000’.  Ridgetop winds have averaged 13 mph out of the East (max gust of 35 mph).  Temperatures have been mild with the Sunburst station (3,812’) showing an average of 24.7 degrees F.  The Center Ridge SNOTEL site (1,880’) showed a max reading of 44 F.

Today expect clearing skies through the morning hours.  Temperatures at 1,000’ will reach into the high 40s F.  Winds will be light out of the Northeast at 5 mph.

A series of disturbances tracking to the South will not be strong enough to bring moisture our way for the next several days.  High pressure will try to establish itself over the area, bringing generally dry conditions and mild temps through the weekend and into the early part of next week.

This is a general backcountry avalanche advisory issued for Turnagain Arm with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area (this advisory does not apply to highways, railroads, or operating ski areas).

Winter snowmachine use open/closed status and riding conditions updates

Riding status is not associated with avalanche danger. An area will be open to motorized use in accordance to the Forest Management Plan when snow coverage is adequate to protect underlying vegetation. Backcountry hazards including avalanche hazard are always present regardless of the open status of motorized use areas.

(Updated: Mar 15, 2018 )

Glacier District
Johnson Pass: Open
Placer River: OpenPlease avoid private property and AKRR job site at Luebner Lake. Cross railroad tracks if needed, do not ride down tracks, it is illegal.
Skookum Drainage: OpenCross railroad tracks if needed, do not ride down tracks, it is illegal. FYI, Skookum drainage closes to Snowmachines on 4/1 as per the Chugach NF plan.
Turnagain Pass: Open
Twentymile: OpenCross railroad tracks at designated spot as you leave the parking area.
Seward District
Carter Lake: Open
Lost Lake Trail: Open
Primrose Trail: Open
Resurrection Pass Trail: OpenResurrection Pass trail is open to snowmachine use during the 2017/18 winter season.
Snug Harbor: Open
South Fork Snow River Corridor: Open
Summit Lake: Open

Subscribe to the Turnagain Area Avalanche Advisory:

The information in this advisory is from the U.S. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory provided by the Chugach National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center.

If you have comments or questions regarding CNFAIC operations or winter recreation management, please email
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